No decision yet on 2014 drivers, Whitmarsh insists

Martin Whitmarsh said today that McLaren has not yet signed contracts with drivers for 2014 – and sounded less convincing than hitherto when discussing the future prospects of Sergio Perez, who many believe will be dropped.

When asked if Kevin Magnussen was in the frame, Whitmarsh declined to be pinned down.

“Lots of people are being considered, when we come to the end of those considerations, we’ll make an announcement,” said Whitmarsh in a phone conference.

“I think firstly we have not provided either of our drivers with a good enough race car this year. So in those circumstances Sergio’s been a great team member. He’s made a spirited contribution, he’s produced some really good races, some exciting races, and ruffled a few feathers. And I think he’s done a pretty good job throughout the whole year. Abu Dhabi was difficult, it was not quite the result that he wanted or we wanted, but it was a difficult weekend, and those happen.

“I think that he’s done a good job. We’re still talking to him, certainly. There’s all sorts of things that I’ve read in the media. The fact is at the moment we haven’t confirmed our driver line-up, we haven’t signed contracts – plural – with drivers, so we’re still talking about that. There’s a lot of honest feedback, both ways, I think it’s best done in private and not in public.”

Whitmarsh was also asked if Perez was driving for his McLaren career over the next two races.

“I think Sergio is a very talented racing driver, I think it’s been a difficult year for him, partly as I said at the outset because we haven’t given him a good enough car. I think he’s a determined driver, he’ll be driving very hard in Texas I know, it’s the closest he’s going to get to home crowd this year, and he’ll want to do a good job in front of those people. We’ll be do everything with him to see if he can get a good result.”

A cynic would point out that for precisely that reason this would not be the ideal time to tell the world that Perez has been dropped.

Regarding the requirement for an intelligent driver in the 2014 turbo era, he said: “I think certainly in an era of change you need bright drivers. I think Sergio is a clever guy, and I think in that regard he’s a good driver for anyone next year, including ourselves.”

He added: “I think we’ve got two intelligent drivers now and I think we’ll have just that next year…”


Filed under F1 News, Grand Prix News

5 responses to “No decision yet on 2014 drivers, Whitmarsh insists

  1. Vortex Motio

    Wow! Neither Button, nor Perez are inked for next season! That is news!

    McLaren is full of surprises… This certainly makes this silly season… sillier!

  2. CTP

    I read that differently, and I suspect MW’s intention was to obfuscate the situation as much as possible. I read that he’s saying we haven’t signed contractS… meaning, they may have signed A contract…

  3. Guillermo

    My interpretation is… We have made a decision!, but still want to get some points out of next two races from Perez. But at the same time it rumors are right and Perez will be out, Perez by sure already spoke to other teams. All F1 is about Lies! they get into the spotlight thanks to Media rumors. Is it not curious that Lotus still not confirming Hulkenberg ? Lotus may still awaiting for McLaren announcement… I guess Telmex or Claro sponsorship may be locking Perez or following Perez. Hopefully Perez still getting a seat in next Turbo 2014 season. But I won’t be surprised if next year a not front runner car (this season) start winning races with Perez, D’Resta, Hulkenberg or Bottas. Actually, it may be also Massa’s return.

  4. KevinG

    SP probably shouldn’t have moved up to McLaren this season. Through no fault of his own, I don’t think he had the seasoning needed to drive for a top-tier team, although McL has hardly shown themselves to be in the top tier over the past couple of seasons, and if one were to look at their performance over the past few years, it has been lacking. Maybe someone should be wondering when MW is going to be walking the proverbial plank, given that McL hasn’t exactly shone since his been at the helm. This non-announcement is just another oops! in the recent McL history.

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